Baseball will forever be tainted by the Steroid Era. The first reaction to the Mitchell Report by most fans was that these players should never be allowed into the Hall of Fame. Now, a lot of people feel that since so many players took an array of performance enhancing drugs, that these players are truly deserving of being recognized as some of baseball’s best.
This January, we will find out the initial reaction towards some of the elite of the Steroid Era. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa are the big three who would be first-ballot hall of famers if not for their tainted pasts. We will soon see the initial reaction towards these players. These three will be the ultimate test of the attitudes towards players who have used steroids, as while all three have been clouded by PED controversy, none of them have admitted to taking these drugs, and their taking of these drugs has not been proven.
While Mark McGwire’s experience in not getting into the Hall of Fame could be a good litmus test to see if these three will get voted in (since McGwire’s résumé is deserving of a Hall of Fame entry), his situation is still vastly different since he actually admitted to using steroids. As a result, he has not gotten picked on more than 23.7 percent of the ballots, despite being eligible since 2007.
I personally believe that these three all deserve to make the Hall of Fame. The court of opinion can be brutal for people, as often times players who are accused of having cheated never shed that image of a cheater. However, Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa all testified to congress that they did not use PEDs, and Clemens and Bonds won the cases against them for perjury.
Their success in keeping a clean “hard facts” image, to me, is enough. It definitely helps their cause that they were so dominant as well. I personally would vote for all three of these even if they have used steroids. Their success in baseball cannot only be attributed to steroids. These three were all clearly baseball studs who were able to dominate the game based on their natural ability. Either way, they still would have put up Hall of Fame-worthy numbers.
Baseball will soon see if the best hitter of all time deserves to be remembered as one, and it is up to the writers of baseball to decide. Hopefully they make the right decision.